Well, now that I've awoken from my heart attack last night...haha. What a helluva game. I've never seen momentum swing like a pendulum the same way I watched it last night. That was absolutely incredible, and incredibly telling of a team that is in the process of becoming a champion.
ESPN's article on the game pretty much sums it up. "Alabama summoned up one huge defensive stand, a last-minute drive led by John Parker Wilson and Matt Caddell and a final, game-winning pass into the end zone.
Welcome to the Nick Saban era, Bama fans."
Before we go any further - go ahead and vote for Caddell's catch as the Pontiac Game Changing Performance. Go here to vote.
If you would like to know what happened with the defense, well, I can offer that up to you. The defense was just beginning to show signs of being worn down by that huge Arkansas line and D-Mac's insane running abilities. They had a drive that went for 5 plays and 61 yards in the 3rd quarter to make it 31-17. Then, on the ensuing possession, we held the ball for 4 plays and fumbled the snap back to them, putting the defense back on the field with them in scoring position. Then, on the next possession, we ran one play - an interception at our own 26. After that touchdown the game was tied at 31. They kicked off and we went three and out. They scored in 6 plays and absolutely had our defense worn out.
The defense this year will need every bit of rest they can get. I'm still not sure what the status is on Rashad Johnson, since he went out on the last serious, and I'm not sure what happened with Darren Mustin. I do know that A TON of freshmen got playing time last night, which makes that game all the more exciting.
So we gave up 145 passing yards and 312 rushing yards. It was a disgrace to good defenses everywhere - but then, there was the '94 game against Georgia. That's the only thing I can compare this to - and of course we get to see that game play out again next week.
Seriously, when was the last time we had a come from behind victory? I believe the Florida game in the Swamp in '99, but before that it was 1996 against Auburn with Dennis Riddle juking a boy right out of his shoes before running into the endzone. Is there another one I'm missing? I know there were a couple of last minute wins with Mike Shula in '05 (Ole Miss, Tennessee, Texas Tech) but all of those would have gone to overtime if we didn't score, so it wasn't life or death. In '06 we went down 23-20 in the first overtime to Ole Miss, but came back and scored to win 26-23.
All of that is for a reason - only great, focused teams can pull off something like Alabama did last night. The last minute come-from-behind victory is something to be cherished. The adrenaline rush it gives, and the momentum it gives the players going into the next few weeks is something that no other type of win could get you.
DJ Hall broke the receiving record - I believe on the first play, if I'm not mistaken. He also set a record for receiving yards in one quarter, having 4 catches for 118 yards and 2 touchdowns. And then, in the fourth quarter field goal drive, I believe he did something wrong because he was, for the most part, suspended from going into the game. Very interesting call considering he's your best wide-receiver, but we all know how Saban works. He's not interested in winning the game - he's interested in building for the future. Part of that is holding players responsible for their actions, no matter what the consequences.
Darren McFadden, who I thought ESPN said was being held out for the rest of the 4th quarter due to severe cramps and the possibility of a tweaked hamstring, was apparently held out, according to Mark McCarter because he suffered a concussion on their last touchdown drive. If he had not gone out, I'm not sure that it would have mattered, because we were going to have 10 guys in the box on their last possession anyway.
According to some in-person accounts, the student section started chanting "JU-LI-O" when Julio Jones came out with the rest of the recruits to see the game on Saturday night. He couldn't help but grin. I think he knows where he's going to school. Haha.
Kevin Scarbinsky knows what's up. In one fateful evening, Alabama and Auburn turned the corner going in different directions. One losing at home to the last placed SEC West team, and the other defeating the reigning SEC west champs. What this says to recruits, etc, is that the tide has officially turned.
Randy Kennedy lets us know that "the process" is underway in Tuscaloosa. Last night was just the beginning of what could be a very fun next few years at Alabama.
The Northwest Arkansas Morning News chimes in with some quotes from Arkansas players and coaches, including Houston Nutt saying "we should've won the game, but we made too, too many mistakes." Damn, that sounds awfully familiar.
The Birmingham News details some of the things that went on in the last drive of the game - read it here.
Wally Hall is the only writer that I've seen mention how ugly the incident was between Ernest Mitchell and Justin Britt - where Mitchell ripped off Britt's helmet after the play and hit him with it. It will most certainly be reviewed by the SEC offices, and could result in even more of a suspension. He's automatically out for the first 2 quarters against Kentucky already.
Matt Caddell's touchdown pass
Leigh Tiffin's field goal, ultimately the difference in the game, in the 4th quarter
Two of the better coaches in the SEC
Coach Saban doin his thang #1
Coach Saban doin his thang #2
Coach Saban doin his thang #3
Coach Saban doin his thang #4
Alright, let's move on to what else happened yesterday...
Tommy Tubberville got Croomed yesterday, which is never a good thing. There aren't many SEC coaches that Croom has beaten that have kept their job the following year. One would be Ed Orgeron in his first season. The other would be Rich Brooks in his first season. After that, there was Zook, then Shula, and now, possibly, Tubberville? Read more about State's first win at Auburn since 1999 here.
Tennessee absolutely got shalacked by Florida down in th Swamp. Final score - 59-20. Check out more about it here. Suddenly makes me feel pretty good about the Tennessee game this year. Looks like Fulmer's in some trouble.
Kentucky stunned Louisville with a 57 yard touchdown pass with 28 seconds left. Very fitting that it was being shown on ESPN Classic. Haha. Read more about Kentucky's first win over a top 10 team in over three decades here.
Ole Miss is now 1-2 on the season, thanks to being beaten 31-17 at Vanderbilt. I guess we know that Vandy doesn't really suck - we were just better than them last week. Read more about Vandy's quest for a bowl game here. Ole Miss looks to be in some serious trouble with games against Florida, Georgia, a suddenly good-looking La Tech team, Arkansas, and Alabama on the horizon.
Georgia and South Carolina both played 1-AA teams (Western Carolina and South Carolina St), so I don't put much stock into what they did.
It appears that Georgia and Alabama will be on CBS next week, so we'll see whether or not that holds up, since South Carolina and LSU looks to be the better matchup.
¶ 9:27 AM
With reference to DJ Hall being held out he was injured (something with his quads) and begged to get in on the last drive. The GA vs. UA game was not picked by CBS so we will appear @ 6:45 on ESPN. # posted by uaengineer1986 : 3:36 PM
yeah, i finally read about that. seemed kinda strange. that's a very dangerous injury to play with.